April 08, 2018

are blogs outdated?

 What I'm Wearing:
h&m denim kimono. - h&m jersey vest top. -  asos denim culottes. - primark sling back shoes (similar)

Some weeks back I ran a poll on Instagram asking if anyone reads blogs anymore. 
42% said YES.
58% said NO.

I wont lie, it was a contributory factor as to why things have been slow on the blog this year. Why make content if no one is going to read it or make the effort to click the "link in bio". But do you know how lazy that last bit sounds!? 

We happily binge watch TV shows or Youtube for a day or more without question, yet we dont blink an eye to the books gathering dust on our shelves, so much so that "read more books" has become a popular new years resolution!!!. And if your anything like me, you have a bunch of online articles saved in your twitter DM's, that you promised yourself you'd go back to read later, but surprise surprise...

While writing this I'm reminded of the hours I used to spend reading Company magazine. I loved that magazine. These days I cant even remember the last time I read a magazine from cover to cover. Do you? I know we all take pictures with them on our instagram though...

Its crazy how our attention spans have diminished over the years.

We have become lazy and time poor...

...and Instagram knows it.

Sure we grumble. We hate the algorithm. The rollercoaster of engagement and lack of visibility of our content. Were tired of comments like "love the skirt" and "great post" and the fake followers, speaking of which, I especially hate that an abundance of hair companies keep following me! Like what is that about??? 

Instagram plays games and yet we are willing participants. 

This highly addictive platform that has us scrolling through our timelines first thing in the morning and last thing at night, was once an innocent platform for photo-sharers, but now the stakes on what you share are high. 

It has become a place of perfectly curated pictures of breakfast bowls, holiday destinations, relationship and fitness goals, makeup tutorials, mini vlogs, a place for beautiful people to look even more beautiful, home decor, fashionova (lol) and my favourite...outfit inspiration.

With one tap, I can find out what he/she is wearing in an instant and just by swiping up I can shop the item there and then.No waiting for a blogpost to load. No trawling through endless text and pictures just to discover the brand name. Instagram have made themselves the place to be and stay, opening swipe up links within the app, so its easier to go back to your timeline by clicking the "x" button. 

Has social networking changed the perception of what a blogger looks like today. Definitely.  

In the past, I have signed up to blogging programmes to help me connect with brands, but the catch is in order to qualify to even be considered, I have to have 15,000 or more followers on Instagram! 

Success within the blogosphere has become less about quality blog content and readership and more about numbers on Instagram, this is evident as some of the big instagram influencers dont even have blogs! Brands look at numbers, because they believe that a influencers following will become their following, but if you know about #instagrambotgate, inorganic growth and bots is a reality of some influencers "popularity". Their engagement is poor. 

And lets talk about this "Influencer" title for one minute. 

"Influencer" takes what i do and makes it about what i can do for a marketing team or brand. I'm a blogger/youtuber. i have influence, but its not why i do what i do..."

Caroline Hiron's quote, from her interview with Diary Directory, sums up my feelings about this title us bloggers seem to be rolling with these days. Personally, I got into blogging to inspire peoples confidence with style and show off my outfits! I've always worn things that my family/friends have been questionable about lol, but blogging allowed me into a community that just got it and understood fashhuuuuuun and personal style. The reality of blogging being a tangible job of course peaks my interest, who wouldnt want the opportunity to work for themselves and with brands you love, travel and have new and exciting experiences?? Hello I do! But that doesn't mean I want to feel like everytime you engage with me that I'm trying to sell you something. I want people to think of me as a source of inspiration and if I inspire you to purchase something great! I have influence, but its not why I do what I do...

wearing: h&m denim kimono jacket
Thats why even though your blog may not be experiencing the numbers of readership it did in the past, I dont think you should give up on it.

There's an audience that dont always want fast content and dont fall too easily down the rabbit hole that keeps them on Instagram for hours. An audience who'll happily check in on the latest posts on Bloglovin', who spend time reading thoughtful, in-depth rambles. Those are the people we write for, blog for, an audience who doesn't think its too much effort to click the "link in bio".

I feel like there is a little more freedom with blogging, people understand if you disappear offline, live life and then finally come back and update everyone on the latest happenings, share stories and thoughts. But with social media having this constantly "switched on" mentality, we now worry that if we dont post often we'll become irrelevant and now some of us spend more time documenting our lives instead of actually living them. 

And its not just Instagram to blame. We post to Tumblr, we tweet, pin away to boards, Snapchat or update our Facebook statuses. Even though we complain about the impacts of social media, we have at least one of these apps on our phone that we refresh and check everyday. We have embraced it as part of our lives. 

On a positive note, like I said earlier if the landscape of blogging hadn't changed who knows if we would have seen women championing this industry and making it possible for blogging to be a career. I mean what a proud and inspiring moment to see Patricia Bright on the cover of Glamour magazine! My 2011 self that discovered her through this video is screaaaaaming!

So are blogs outdated? Maybe a little

But dead, nah.

Remember when people thought online shopping was the end of the high street? Well let me tell you, your a fool if you think weekend shopping in Oxford Street or Westfield is a good idea. A foool! Even with the dreadful (but magically beautiful) snowfall, we had a couple weeks ago, the high street was alive and kicking! And just as the high street still exists, so will blogging, for those who choose (can be bothered) to read or write them.

I'd love to get a discussion going and hear your thoughts on this topic in the comments section.

My blog is definitely here to stay so support your gal! Follow me here...hey if you dont ask, dont get lol.

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